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This stimulating new book provides a sophisticated introduction to the key issues in the sociology of death and dying. In recent years, the social sciences have seen an upsurge of interest in death and dying. The fascination with death is reflected in popular media such as newspapers, television documentaries, films and soaps, and, moreover, in the multiplying range of professional roles associated with dying and death. Yet despite its ubiquitous significance, the majority of texts in the field have been written primarily for health professionals. This book breaks with that tradition. It provides a cutting edge, comprehensive discussion of the key topics in death and dying and in so doing demonstrates that the study of mortality is germane to all areas of sociology. The book is organised thematically, utilising empirical material from cross–national and cross–cultural perspectives. It carefully addresses questions about social attitudes to mortality, the social nature of death and dying, explanations for change and diversity in approaches, and traditional, modern and postmodern experiences of death. Death and Dying will appeal to students across the social sciences, as well as professionals whose work brings them into contact with dying or bereaved people.
Constructing Death reviews sociological, anthropological and historical studies of death, grief and mourning in order to illuminate present-day experience. It is both an introduction to the sociological study of death, dying and bereavement, and an original contribution to death studies and social theory, combining a theoretical argument with original research material. The volume will be of use to students and scholars of sociology, as well as health care practitioners.
This engaging new book takes a fresh approach to the major topics surrounding the processes and rituals of death and dying in the United States. It emphasizes individual experiences and personal reactions to death as well as placing mortality within a wider social context, drawing on theoretical frameworks, empirical research and popular culture. Throughout the text the authors highlight the importance of two key factors in American society which determine who dies and under what circumstances: persistent social inequality and the American consumerist ethic. These features are explored through a discussion of topics ranging from debates about euthanasia to deaths resulting from war and terrorism; from the death of a child to children?s experience of grieving and bereavement; and from beliefs about life after death to more practical issues such as the disposal of the dead body. Drawing on sociological, anthropological, philosophical, and historical research the authors present the salient features of death and dying for upper-level students across the social sciences. For anyone interested in learning more about the end of life, this book will provide a useful and accessible perspective on the uniquely American understanding of death and dying.
`This second edition, which has also been edited by Samson Katz, utilizes around half of the original text, of which a significant portions has been revised and updated. The remainder comprises new material reflecting both the changes in attitudes generally towards death and dying, and also designed to meet the needs of students undertaking the revised curriculum of the K260. This book will stimulate thinking and challenge the personal views of both academics and those in practice. ...[A] valuable tool for both those new to the area of palliative and cancer care and those experienced professionals searching for a new angle on several key topics in relation to ethical issues occurring in this speciality... [A]n excellent balance of theoretical contents and moving prose... [T]his book is directed towards all professionals working in health and social care. ...This book is a must for pre-registration students wishing to gain greater understanding of the psychosocial issues faced by those with a terminal illness and their significant others' - Nurse Education Today The fully revised and updated edition of this bestselling collection combines academic research with professional and personal reflections. Death, Dying and Bereavement addresses both the practical and the more metaphysical aspects of death. Topics such as new methods of pain relief, guidelines for breaking bad news, and current attitudes to euthanasia are considered, while the mystery of death and its wider implications are also explored. A highly distinctive interdisciplinary approach is adopted, including perspectives from literature, theology, sociology and psychology. There are wide-ranging contributions from those who come into professional contact with death and bereavement - doctors, nurses, social workers and councellors. In addition there are more intimate personal accounts from carers and from bereaved people. Death, Dying and Bereavement is the Course Reader for The Open University course Death and Dying, which is offered as part of The Open University Dilpoma in Health and Social Welfare. Praise for the First Edition: `The book does give a broad overview of many of the issues around death, dying and bereavement. It raises the reader's awareness and encourages deeper investigation at every level. It is easy to reda and therefore accessible to a wide audience' - Changes `Provides a richly woven tapestry of personal, professional and literary accounts of death, dying and bereavement' - Health Psychology Update `Offers a unique collection of fascinating information, research, stories, poems and personal reflections. It is unusual to experience such a diversity of writings in one book' - Nursing Times `It brings together the knowledge and skills from a multi-occupational group and thereby offers and opportunity, to whoever reads it, to enable better experiences for those who are dying and bereaved' - Journal of Interprofessional Care `For those trying to help the dying and bereaved, this volume will inspire and move you as much as it will inform and guide your work' - Bereavement Care `Provides a unique overview, and in many areas, penetrating insights into various aspects of death, dying and bereavement. One of it's major strengths is that it brings together a wide and varied discourse on death across cultures and through time' - British Journal of Sociology
In recent years there has been a massive upsurge in academic, professional and lay interest in mortality. This is reflected in academic and professional literature, in the popular media and in the proliferation of professional roles and training courses associated with aspects of death and dying. Until now the majority of reference material on death and dying has been designed for particular disciplinary audiences and has addressed only specific academic or professional concerns. There has been an urgent need for an authoritative but accessible reference work reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field. This Encyclopedia answers that need. The Encyclopedia of Death and Dying consolidates and contextualizes the disparate research that has been carried out to date. The phenomena of death and dying and its related concepts are explored and explained in depth, from the approaches of varied disciplines and related professions in the arts, social sciences, humanities, medicine and the sciences. In addition to scholars and students in the field-from anthropologists and sociologists to art and social historians - the Encyclopedia will be of interest to other professionals and practitioners whose work brings them into contact with dying, dead and bereaved people. It will be welcomed as the definitive death and dying reference source, and an essential tool for teaching, research and independent study.
The study of death has the capacity to bring together a range of policy areas. Yet death is often overlooked within policy debates in the UK and beyond, and within gerontology. Bringing together a range of scholars engaged in policy associated with death, this collection provides a holistic account of how death factors in social policy. Within this, issues covered include inheritance, palliative care, euthanasia, funeral costs, bereavement support, marginalised deaths and disposal practices. At the heart of the book, the volume recognises that the issues identified are likely to intensify and expand over the next twenty years, as death rates continue to rise.
This book draws together a range of both classic and newly commissioned pieces on the multidisciplinary study of death and dying. Organized into five parts, the book begins with a general exploration of the meaning of death, before moving on to consider caring at the end-of-life. Further readings explore the moral and ethical dilemmas in the context of death and dying. The fourth part of the book examines the issue of grief and ritual after death. The final part considers some of the issues that arise when researching the field of death and dying.

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